Ebe Stignani

Biography

Born: July 10, 1903; Naples, Italy   Died: October 5, 1974; Imola, Italy  
Short in stature and by no means slender, mezzo-soprano Ebe Stignani was a paragon among twentieth-century singers in her vocal range, a compass sweeping from low F to a shining high C of a quality and power many dramatic sopranos envied. Although she herself admitted to being no actress, her stage appearances carried enormous force through her singing alone. Her career was born in an age of other great mezzos and extended nearly three decades Read more into the prime years of Giulietta Simionato, Elena Nicolai, and Fedora Barbieri. She recorded often, preserving several of her most celebrated roles in complete performances.

Beginning with the study of piano at the Conservatory of San Pietro di Maiella in her native Naples, Stignani soon undertook courses in vocal training under Agostino Roche who cautioned her not to exploit her facile top register by becoming a soprano. During her five years with Roche, she worked on solfège and scales even as she studied harmony and both the choral and the operatic literature.

Stignani's debut took place at the San Carlo in Naples in 1925 when she plunged into the dramatic role of Amneris in Verdi's Aida. Called upon by Arturo Toscanini for an audition, she found herself with a contract for La Scala and began her long career there with La Gioconda, Götterdämmerung, and Weber's Der Freischütz (in the brief, but uncompromisingly soprano role of Aennchen). Soon, she was singing under the finest conductors of the time: Ghione, Gui, Guarnieri, Marinuzzi, Panizza, and Serafin. Given the size and thrust of her voice, she was assigned a great deal of Wagner, each role sung in her native language, as was the custom of the time in Italy. Likewise, she came to make the big Verdi roles her own -- Ulrica, Azucena, Preziosilla, and Eboli in Don Carlo. In the latter, she was a last-minute substitute for the revered Giuseppina Cobelli and, despite her usually placid nature, found the experience of taking over for a singer so esteemed by the Scala audience a nerve-wracking one. Stignani triumphed, and found the demanding role becoming one of her two mainstay parts, the other being Leonora in Donizetti's La favorita.

Beyond the Verdi/Wagner literature, Stignani embraced Fidalma in Cimarosa's Il matrimonio segreto, Carmen, Adalgisa in Bellini's Norma, Marina in Boris Godunov, Dalila and the role she loved above all others, Orfeo in Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice. Elsewhere in Italy, her roles at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino were the High Priestess in Spontini's La vestale and Fenena in Nabucco in 1933. By 1940, she was engaged for the more important role of Arsace in Rossini's Semiramide. Meanwhile, other opera houses outside of Italy summoned her for a variety of works. She sang in London beginning in 1937, when she debuted as Amneris, and continuing periodically until her Adalgisa opposite Callas in 1952 and 1957, the year before her retirement. The United States heard her in opera only, at San Francisco (1938 and 1948) and in Chicago (1955), where her appearances included a memorable Il trovatore with Callas and Björling. A rapturously received recital at Carnegie Hall in 1948 failed to produce another offer from the Metropolitan Opera (a 1939 contract was voided by the outbreak of WWII), but she sang with success in South America as well as throughout Europe.

Among Stignani's commercially recorded roles are Amneris (twice), Adalgisa (twice), Eboli, Preziosilla, and Laura. Read less

There are 38 Ebe Stignani recordings available.

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Formats & Featured

Biography

Born: July 10, 1903; Naples, Italy   Died: October 5, 1974; Imola, Italy  
Short in stature and by no means slender, mezzo-soprano Ebe Stignani was a paragon among twentieth-century singers in her vocal range, a compass sweeping from low F to a shining high C of a quality and power many dramatic sopranos envied. Although she herself admitted to being no actress, her stage appearances carried enormous force through her singing alone. Her career was born in an age of other great mezzos and extended nearly three decades Read more
WORKS ALBUMS
TITLE/COMPOSER
LABEL
Norma (2003 Digital Remaster): Sinfonia (Orchestra)
Norma (2003 Digital Remaster), ACT 1, Scene 1: Introduzione (Orchestra) ... Ite sul colle (Oroveso/Coro)
Norma (2003 Digital Remaster), ACT 1, Scene 1: Dell aura tua profetica (Oroveso/Coro)
Norma (2003 Digital Remaster), ACT 1, Scene 1: Svanir le voci! (Pollione/Flavio)
Norma (2003 Digital Remaster), ACT 1, Scene 1: Meco all'altar di Venere (Pollione)
Norma (2003 Digital Remaster), ACT 1, Scene 1: Odi?... I suoi riti a compiere (Flavio/Coro/Pollione)
Norma (2003 Digital Remaster), ACT 1, Scene 1: Me protegge, me difende un poter maggior di loro (Pollione)
Norma (2003 Digital Remaster), ACT 1, Scene 1: Allegro assai...(Orchestra)...Norma viene (Coro)
Norma (2003 Digital Remaster), ACT 1, Scene 1: Sediziose voci (Norma/Oroveso/Coro)
Norma (2003 Digital Remaster), ACT 1, Scene 1: Casta diva (Norma/Coro)
Norma (2003 Digital Remaster), ACT 1, Scene 1: Fine al rito e il sacro bosco (Norma/Oroveso/Coro)
Norma (2003 Digital Remaster), ACT 1, Scene 1: Ah! bello a me ritorna (Norma/Oroveso/Coro)
Norma (2003 Digital Remaster), ACT 1, Scene 1: Andante....(Orchestra)...Sgombra è la sacra selva (Adalgisa)
Norma (2003 Digital Remaster), ACT 1, Scene 1: Deh! proteggimi, o Dio! (Adalgisa)
Norma (2003 Digital Remaster), ACT 1, Scene 1: Eccola! Va, mi lascia ragion non odo (Pollione/Adalgisa)
Norma (2003 Digital Remaster), ACT 1, Scene 1: Va, crudele, al Dio spietato (Pollione/Adalgisa)
Norma (2003 Digital Remaster), ACT 1, Scene 1: Vieni in Roma (Pollione/Adalgisa)
Messa da Requiem (2000 Digital Remaster), I - Requiem e Kyrie: Requiem aeternam
Messa da Requiem (2000 Digital Remaster), I - Requiem e Kyrie: Kyrie eleison
Messa da Requiem (2000 Digital Remaster), II - Sequenza: Dies irae
Messa da Requiem (2000 Digital Remaster), II - Sequenza: Tuba mirum
Messa da Requiem (2000 Digital Remaster), II - Sequenza: Liber scriptus - Dies irae
Messa da Requiem (2000 Digital Remaster), II - Sequenza: Quid sum miser
Messa da Requiem (2000 Digital Remaster), II - Sequenza: Rex tremendae
Messa da Requiem (2000 Digital Remaster), II - Sequenza: Recordare
Messa da Requiem (2000 Digital Remaster), II - Sequenza: Ingemisco
Messa da Requiem (2000 Digital Remaster), II - Sequenza: Confutatis maledictis - Dies irae
Messa da Requiem (2000 Digital Remaster), II - Sequenza: Lacrymosa
Messa da Requiem (2000 Digital Remaster), III - Offertorio: Domine Jesu Christe
Messa da Requiem (2000 Digital Remaster), III - Offertorio: Hostias et preces
Messa da Requiem (2000 Digital Remaster): IV - Sanctus
Messa da Requiem (2000 Digital Remaster): V - Agnus Dei
Messa da Requiem (2000 Digital Remaster): VI - Lux aeterna
Messa da Requiem (2000 Digital Remaster), VII - Libera me: Libera me - Dies irae
Messa da Requiem (2000 Digital Remaster), VII - Libera me: Requiem aeternam
Messa da Requiem (2000 Digital Remaster), VII - Libera me: Libera me
La Vestale: Overture
La Vestale: Act I, "Presso il sublime tempio", (Cinna, Licinius)
La Vestale: Act I, "Alma Vesta del ciel", (HIgh Priestess, Vestals)
La Vestale: Act I, "Che si vuole da me?", (Julia, High Priestess)
La Vestale: Act I, "Oh! di funestra possa...Ti vedrò fra momenti", (Julia)
La Vestale: Act I, "Di lauri il suol spargiamo", (Chorus)
La Vestale: Act I, Ballet and Choral Finale
La Vestale: Act II, "Divin foco", (Vestals)
La Vestale: Act II, "Tu che invoco", (Julia)
La Vestale: Act II, "Giulia!...È la sua voce", (Licinus, Julia)
La Vestale: Act II, "Lincino!", (Cinna)
La Vestale: Act II, "Oh delitto! oh sventura!", (High Priest)
La Vestale: Act II, "O nume tutelar", (Julia)
La Vestale: Act III, "Ohime! quale apparato!", (Licinius)
La Vestale: Act III, "Cinna, l'arme che fan?", (Licinius, Cinna)
La Vestale: Act III, "La Vestale infida mora"
La Vestale: Act III, "Sul profanato altar", (High Priest)
La Vestale: Act III, "Caro oggetto", (Julia)
La Vestale: Act III, "Fermate, Satelliti di morte!", (Licinius)
La Vestale: Act III, "Liete concenti", (Chorus of Vestals)
Norma (1997 Digital Remaster): Sinfonia (Orchestra)
Norma (1997 Digital Remaster), ACT 1, Scene 1: Introduction (Orchestra) ... Ite sul colle (Oroveso/Coro)
Norma (1997 Digital Remaster), ACT 1, Scene 1: Svanir le voci! (Pollione/Flavio)
Norma (1997 Digital Remaster), ACT 1, Scene 1: Meco all'altar di Venere (Pollione)
Norma (1997 Digital Remaster), ACT 1, Scene 1: Odi?... I suoi riti a compiere (Flavio/Coro/Pollione)
Norma (1997 Digital Remaster), ACT 1, Scene 1: Me protegge, me difende un poter maggior di loro (Pollione)
Norma (1997 Digital Remaster), ACT 1, Scene 1: Norma viene [Coro]
Norma (1997 Digital Remaster), ACT 1, Scene 1: Sediziose voci (Norma/Oroveso/Coro)
Norma (1997 Digital Remaster), ACT 1, Scene 1: Casta diva (Norma/Coro)
Norma (1997 Digital Remaster), ACT 1, Scene 1: Fine al rito e il sacro bosco (Norma/Oroveso/Coro)
Norma (1997 Digital Remaster), ACT 1, Scene 1: Ah! bello a me ritorna (Norma/Oroveso/Coro)
Norma (1997 Digital Remaster), ACT 1, Scene 1: Sgombra è la sacra selva ... Deh! proteggimi, o Dio! (Adalgisa)
Norma (1997 Digital Remaster), ACT 1, Scene 1: Eccola! Va, mi lascia ragion non odo (Pollione/Adalgisa)
Norma (1997 Digital Remaster), ACT 1, Scene 1: Va, crudele, al Dio spietato (Pollione/Adalgisa)
Norma (1997 Digital Remaster), ACT 1, Scene 1: Vieni in Roma (Pollione/Adalgisa)
Overture
Sì: corre voce che l'Etiope ardisca
Se quel guerrier io fossi!..Celeste Aida
Quale insolita gioia
Alta cagion v'aduna
Ritorna vincitor!
Possente, possente Fthà
Mortal, diletto ai Numi
Chi mai fra gl'inni e i plausi
Fu la sorte dell'armi a'tuoi funesta
Su! del Nilo al sacro lido
Gloria all'Egitto, ad Iside
Marcia
Vieni, o guerriero vindice
Salvator della patria, io ti saluto
Che veggo!...Egli?...Mio padre!
Quest'assisa ch'io vesto vi dica
Ma tu, Re, tu signore possente
O Re: pei sacri Numi
Gloria all'Egitto, ad Iside
O tu che sei d'Osiride
Qui Radames verrà!...O Patria mia
Ciel! mio padre!
Pur ti riveggo, mia dolce Aida
Fuggiam gli ardori inospiti
Tu...Amonasro!...tu!...il Re?
L'aborrita rivale a me sfuggia
Già i Sacerdoti adunansi
Ohimè!...morir mi sento! Oh! chi lo salva?
Radamès! Radamès! Radamès!
La fatal pietra sovra me si chiuse
Presago il core della tua condonna
O terra, addio; addio valle di pianti


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